Current Events Motivation Self Improvement

Sam Zell dies at 81. My memories of Sam.

It was a strange day at the Los Angeles Times. We knew Tribune Media was sold, and we were summoned to an all-hands meeting with a guy named Sam Zell. I didn’t know what to expect. I had work to do and I was hoping that we could just get this formality over with and get back to the real business of the day. I had already pictured what the speech would go like; I imagined, “blah, blah, blah”, or something similar. Then Sam came into the room.

Sam started using some colorful language. I had not quite experienced this in such a forum. It got my attention. It got everyone’s attention. Then he said some things that really resonated with me. One of the first things that he said was, “if your IT Department is blocking content, that shit stops now.” He was all about getting things done, and the IT filters were, in fact, an issue. He went on to say, “I don’t give a fuck if you’re looking at porn three times a day as long as you’re getting your job done. If you aren’t, you’re outta here.” Wow. It was refreshing. He spoke to us average Janes and Joes like he knew what we were thinking. Everybody screws around occasionally and has less productive days. He knew it. He didn’t want to punish us and kill morale. He wanted us engaged with the company. He didn’t want to be our boss, he was going to be our leader. I still parrot his words to my teams.

Another thing that stuck with me was more of Sam Zell’s philosophy on productivity. He wanted to cut out the red tape and bureaucracy. He was all in on eliminating road blocks and hurdles. He said, “if your boss is preventing you from getting your job done, go around him or her. Go to your boss’s boss if that’s what it takes.” He wasn’t big on excuses. He was a fervent believer on taking the most direct route to accomplishing a task or solving a problem. Wow again. I was in awe of this man and his get shit done approach. These weren’t just empty words; he was right.

I will never forget Sam’s words. He has accomplished so much in his life, and there is a lot to admire. I will hold on to that day at the LA Times. I’ll reach back and grab Sam’s words whenever I see a better way to do something, or an opportunity to be more productive.

Thank you Sam Zell. You will be missed.

Current Events

Corporations: Stop Pandering

We have crossed so many lines in this country. It’s hard to say if we’ll be able to go back. We are a nation divided. We are being conquered from within. Ideology is a new religion, and corporations want to use it to make a profit. The profits have been rolling in; however, the curtain is starting to be pulled back.

Corporations do not feel. The goals of corporations are to exist and to turn a profit. They want you to believe that they care about you. They want you to trust them. But, their activism is a marketing technique. That is all there is to it.

They think you’re stupid. They think they won’t get caught. So, it continues. That is, until it doesn’t work anymore. Anheuser-Busch is learning this lesson the hard way after attempting to use the transgender cause to sell beer. Customers weren’t having it. The company suffered a blow that they’re struggling to recover from. Or did they?

According to the New York Post, Bud Light sales had a “17% sales plunge”. There are countless images on the Internet showing Bud Light filling the store shelves. Another experiment claims that they couldn’t give Bud Light away for free at a Country Western venue. I’m a skeptic, so I wanted to see it for myself.

At an event yesterday, I witnessed this first hand.

I wasn’t entirely surprised. Right or wrong, cancel culture exists and the people have spoken. One side claims it’s “just a can” but to the other, it represents much more than that. For a big corporation to feel entitled to push their morals on the populace, especially when it’s a position that is divisive and controversial, is naive at best.

This country is in trouble. There are things that need fixing, but people don’t want some for-profit, uncaring, marketing hack to try to correct it for them. Many corporations will undoubtedly learn lessons about staying in their lane, and that’s a positive thing. Sell your products, make a profit, and give us interesting, thought-provoking, or humorous commercials, but you need to read the room. Want to fight cancel culture? Stop telling people what to think and feel and the problem will likely fix itself.